In February, 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel with a group from my church. I was excited to make the pilgrimage to a place with such historical significance to Christianity and even though it was quite expensive, I felt like it was important for me to see that small part of the world. Our church group was good and I dearly loved my roommate, but the trip itself was one of the worst I’ve ever been on.

If I’m not traveling independently, I usually book with small group tours. I knew that our little church group was going to be part of a larger group but I didn’t realize that there would be over 80 people touring with us everywhere we went. Many of the places we visited were small and even though we wore personal listening devices, by the time we got to file into a site, the tour guide had already moved on and was talking about another area. I am not an auditory learner and I very much needed to see what was being described in order to understand the Biblical references. After a couple of days of being herded through an endless series of ruins and buildings, I simply quit listening.


When I got home, I posted no pictures and told no stories. The only thing I could remember was hearing the tour guide say, repeatedly, Jesus might have walked on this street, this might have been where the last supper was held, this might be where the tomb was….

The top two pictures were taken in the Garden of Gethsemane. The bottom left picture is The Dead Sea which was really cool to float in, and the bits of paper in the right bottom picture were prayer requests tucked into The Wailing Wall.

Some parts of the trip were memorable because they involved no tour guide. We were given time to meditate and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus is said to have prayed the night of his arrest. That experience was very emotional and there were enough quiet nooks and crannies that an old hymn came alive for me. I come to the garden alone….and he walks with me and he talks with me…. Jesus may have wept but because I’m just a few steps beyond normal, I bawled through the whole experience, snot and all.

Been here. Took pictures. Remember nothing!

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